One animal, dear to the hearts of editors, that easily makes print and broadcast stories is the panda, observes Grumpy Editor.
Of all wild animals, any type of report on the panda, especially the prized giant panda, effortlessly finds its way into news columns or air time --- with ample image support.
If one of the black-and-white scene stealers is in jeopardy for some reason, or is shipped to a zoo or merely is munching on bamboo, somehow it’s newsworthy.
Other wildlife members --- whether giraffe, rhinoceros, monkey, right down to alligator and ostrich --- don’t get that much attention.
Maybe it’s because those menagerie members are not cuddly.
A panda simply has a great image that appeals to many. Some editors may have children who take stuffed pandas to bed.
When China last week sent two of its prized giant pandas to Taiwan, it grabbed headlines in China, Taiwan --- and the U.S. Millions watched the televised arrival of the male and the female.
Earlier, there was heavy coverage of the same panda pair eating breakfast before the flight to Taiwan.
When an earthquake strikes a mountainous area of China, home of endangered pandas, calls are made to see how the animals are doing. And that triggers a story.
When China loans pandas to zoos around the world, including the U.S., Australia, Spain and Russia, the arrivals are greeted by flocks of lens-clicking and note-taking news folks.
Public relations people wish they had human clients that wooed the press as easily as pandas.